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Group Calls for Romney Apology

File this in the “Never Going to Happen” folder. The Hill reports that Jewish Voice for Peace is sending Mitt Romney a petition demanding that he apologize for his comments about Palestinian culture:

Jewish Voice for Peace has called Romney’s comments at a Jerusalem fundraiser last Monday “racist and ignorant.” Romney says he did not mean to denigrate Palestinians when he credited “the power of at least culture” and the “hand of providence” for Israel’s superior economy.

The petition, addressed to “Governor Mitt Romney,” urges him to apologize. …

“Your comments were not a reflection of the values Jews, Americans, and our allies hold dear. We call on you to apologize to the Palestinian people for your willful lack of understanding of the facts on the ground and the racist assumptions behind them.”

The Hill calls Jewish Voice for Peace a “liberal Jewish group,” but it’s far more accurate to describe it as a fiercely anti-Israel group. JVP is one of the most outspoken supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel in the U.S. As NGO Monitor’s Gerald Steinberg and Yitzhak Santis wrote in the New York Jewish Week last month, JVP “provide[s] a useful cover for non-Jews to justify gratuitous Israel-bashing.” Steinberg and Yitzhak wrote that JVP’s Rabbinical Council has defended Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian group which has dabbled in false deicide charges against Jews. The Anti-Defamation League has written:

Sabeel often compares the Palestinians to the crucified Jesus, and Israel to his murderers, alluding to the ugly and false deicide charge against all the Jewish people – a concept rejected by prominent historians and repudiated by the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian denominations.

In his paper, The Zionist Ideology of Domination Versus the Reign of God, the organization’s Jerusalem-based director, Rev. Naim Ateek, compares what he calls the “powers of darkness” against which Jesus fought to “the evil structures that have dominated the Palestinians for the last hundred years.”

In his Easter message in spring 2001, Ateek described the political situation in these words: “It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him…Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull.”

The JVP is a fringe group that doesn’t have standing to influence mainstream politics in the first place. But it’s comical that it would demand an apology from Romney about his supposedly “offensive” comments, after its Rabbinical Council defended a group such as Sabeel.



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